Social, Cultural, and Psychological Resonance in John B. Keane’s The Field: What Lies Beneath
This book explores the drama of John B. Keane and focuses on his best-known play, The Field, in an examination of the cultural and psychological resonances present in his work. From the changing social, political, and economic contexts of the play’s genesis, to present-day austerity and malaise, The Field remains a popular and relevant piece of theatre, and in this publication possible motivations behind such popularity and relevance are posited.
Unconscious resonant processes of identification at play within The Field are explored through the application of psychological and post-colonial filters, and the analysis of Keane’s representations of gender, both masculine and feminine, with strong reference to socio-historical contexts throughout. By doing so, further ways of re-reading Keane’s works are suggested, thereby encouraging a re-appraisal of an often critically overlooked Irish playwright.
The examination of the concept of ‘resonance’, which is at the core of this book, provides a unique insight into Keane’s drama and how it interacts with the public at large. Through the modes of analysis of The Field employed in this work, further methods of reading Keane’s other dramas are suggested, and thus, this book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Keane, Irish drama, or for that matter, the field of Irish studies itself.
Brian Devaney received a PhD in English Language and Literature from Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland, in 2016. His doctoral dissertation focused on the core concept of resonance in John B. Keane’s The Field, and this publication has its roots in that work. He has worked as a tutor for the Department of English Language and Literature in Mary Immaculate College, and also as an English language teacher in Killarney School of English, Ireland. His research work remains within, but is not limited to, the field of Irish studies, and the areas of identity creation, nationality and nationalism, gender construction, and the postcolonial psyche interest him greatly. He is currently working as an English language teacher on the southwest coast of Spain.
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